Category: General

They’re Alive, Fish pond update

I’m not sure how its possible but the fish survived the winter. We haven’t had a winter this bad in over 30 years, The ice on the pond was at least a foot thick. And was that way for most of the winter. It would warm up and melt just a little and we would get hit with more snow and it would get even colder. Finally it started to warm up but took for ever for all the ice to melt. Even then it was to cold for them to come to the top. About a week after all the ice was gone they slowly started to surface. They were twice as big and asked me for food and to hook up their fountain. YES my fish can talk! The water is muddy and I need to get some plants. Hopefully in the next few week it will be all cleaned up and ready for summer.

Egg Heads, Recycling Project

Easter was last week and while most parents were coloring eggs we were making egg heads.  I’m always looking for new fun things for the kids to do.  This was a fun and easy craft project that involved all 5 of my kids.  No age limit on this one folks.  I even had our 4-H group do it for their recycling project.

Things you’ll need: eggs, egg carton, dirt, seeds, and a permanent marker.

Take a knife and tap the top of the egg open and pour out the egg yolk. Do this at breakfast so the egg can be eaten. Let the kids draw a face on the egg with the marker. Cut the egg carton up so that you have 12 little cup holders for your eggs. You can ether use a bag of dirt or you can buy dirt disks at your local Farm and Home, Lowe’s or Menard’s. The kids love to watch the dirt disks expand. They are made of recycled paper and compost so it fits in to the whole recycling theme. Put the egg in its holder, add dirt and water, and sprinkle a few seeds on top. In a few days your egg head will start to grow some hair. It’s basically a home made Chia Pet.

After about two weeks you’ll need to transplant your egg head into a pot or a garden. Simply tap and crack the bottom of your egg. Make a hole big enough for the whole egg to fit in. Egg shells are great for your garden. They not only provide nutrients for the plants but also aerate the dirt.

Don’t stop there – egg cartons make great trays for starter plants for your garden. If you use the cardboard/paper cartons you can plant the whole cup into your garden.

New projects for October

About a month ago Jason’s sister had a baby boy. I just had to make a quilt. Knowing his family there will be about 10 quilts made. We all love to sew. Mine has embroidered teddy bears, with cotton flannel and chenille blocks. I embroidered his name and the birth date on one  block. Instead of doing a binding I sewed the back batting and front together and then pillow cased it. Then I ran a top stitch around the out side, I quilted it in the ditch until I got to the bears. I continued to stitch around the outside of each bear. About half way through I broke my walking foot and had to finish the quilt with the zipper foot. Why the zipper foot??? Because it’s smaller and drags less so the top doesn’t stretch. I’m not sure how I did it but there wasn’t one pucker in the whole quilt. I was so proud of myself I made more and put them on eBay.

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Thread and Stabilizer

My embroidery machines are running constantly … and I’ve been using tons of thread and stabilizer. The local stores are a little high priced but that did give me a good excuse to go in and shop. On the down side they had a hard time keeping what I needed in stock.

So I started looking for wholesale suppliers online. I could just kick myself for not doing this sooner. As much as I want to help out other local businesses I save so much more by shopping online. I was spending $36 on a roll of stabilizer 10″ wide by 12 yards long. At the online embroidery store it sells for $24 for 20″ by 24 yards. I can get 4 times more stabilizer for 10 dollars less. Thread was an even better deal. At Jo-Ann Fabrics thread costs about $5.50 for 1000 meters. Online I can buy 5000 meters for $4.99. The only down side is that I can’t fit large thread cone on my machine. I have to set it behind the embroidery machine and use it that way. I have to do the same thing if the thread is wound backwards or I have trouble with the thread looping. I was worried about the shipping but it was free!! That’s right, shipped to my door for free – how cool is that? They also sent a few samples of other stabilizer for me to just try out. Got to love the free stuff.

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More fish pond pics

Check out these pics – these are the “before” pictures of the pond without rocks and grass

My new fish pond

Ya I know I’m a little spoiled! As you know for mothers day I got a real in-ground fish pond. The best thing about it was he had most of the work done the day that we brought it home, and with-in 2 weeks he had rocks around the outside and grass seed planted. It takes most men longer than that to pick up there dirty socks and put them in the hamper…..any way here are some new pictures with more grass and less hay.

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Very busy summer

E-bay has gotten so big that I had to pick up another 350 E embroidery machine. It was used as a demo machine, so it was used very little an i got it at a great price. With 5 kids and Jason running numbers 24/7 its real hard to drop over $1000 on a machine. For a long time now, we pay cash for everything even the big items. Our goal is to be debt fee in a couple of years. So I was a good girl and waited until we had enough money in the bank. Its been running nonstop since I plugged it in. And Jason hasn’t grounded me yet although he did threaten to put me on a shorter leash.

Busy busy summer – Baggo/Cornhole business booming!

Thought I’d post something on Alaine’s blog today.  She rarely has time to post, as business has been booming.  The whole cornhole bag thing hasn’t let up.  In fact, it probably accounts for the majority of the business right now.  It seems like the big thing now is to request designer bags rather than plain colors.  Designer bags cost more – how much more depends on how complicated the design.  More complicated designs take longer to create, stitch out, and usually require more color changes.

If you’re looking for custom bags for your company – for instance maybe a bar would like to order sets with their logo on them – keep in mind a few things.  Bags come in 2-color sets.  Usually people pick fabric colors to offset their logo colors.  For instance, Facebook’s logo is white on a blue background.  They would probably pick blue for one bag color with the white logo, and then reverse the colors to have a blue logo on white bags.

Also, the best size is to keep the logo between 2.5 – 3.0 inches at it’s widest or tallest.  Any larger and it starts to wrap around the edges of the bag towards the seam, which can distort the image.

Some people might be interested to know that the corn we use is grown locally and is standard field corn from the local feed distributor.  It’s basically shelled corn, stored for livestock feed.

Tie Dye day at the school

Once a year I tie dye all the shirts for the 5th graders at Baldwin South. The school buys all the supplies and I get to have all the fun, this is for their field trip to the zoo. Every teacher and every kid gets one, plus all the parents that tag along to help with the trip get one. I’m not real sure but I think its over 200 shirts in about four hours. We use dyes from Dhurma Trading Co, this is the only place to buy your dyes. The shirts have to set in the dye for 48 hours at that time, then they can be rinsed an washed. You need to dry them on high hot in the dryer, heat helps set the dye! After all of that I like to take chunky stampers and liquid dish soap to stamp the shirts. Once the soap is dry you can wash and dry them a second time. This makes some of the coolest shirts ever.

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Career Day

I took the 350E to school for 6th-grade career day.  I also took a smaller machine so that the kids could do some hands-on sewing.  Only three kids had ever touched a sewing machine before and one was mine.  That’s not surprising since they took home-ec out of the schools and more and more moms are working.  There is less time to sit down and teach your kid how to sew.  Kids used to play house – now they play on the computer.  For some reason it’s frowned upon if you’re a woman and don’t have a full time job!

I was at one of the school events – I think it was ‘Muffins for Moms” – and one of the women at my table said, “So you stay at home and do nothing?”  At what point in time did we all turn on each other and make being a mom a bad word.  If my kids get sick I don’t have to call my boss and tell him I can’t make it.  Of course I don’t have a new van or truck and nobody comes to clean my house for me.  And it will be a while before we take a cruise but at least I get to be with my kids while they’re young.  My kids have grown up sewing and watching me be a mom.  I just bought the 4yr old her first sewing machine.  She can thread it all by herself and as long as I’m in the room she can sew as much as she wants to.

If anyone needs me I’ll be at home doing nothing.